It’s been one year since the World Health Organization officially declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic.

The first case of the virus in Canada was reported at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital on Jan. 25, 2020, after a man who had just returned from China came to the emergency room with a mild case of pneumonia.

The man was treated by Dr. Jerome Leis, an infectious disease physician at Sunnybrook. Leis spoke to CTV’s Your Morning Thursday, to reflect on the first case and what the past year has been like for him and his team.

A year ago, knowing that cases of a new pathogen were spreading in China at the time, Leis and his team had a screening process in place for travellers returning from the region.

“We had a screening protocol in place for returning travellers. Wuhan had been identified two weeks before as an area of concern and they had compatible symptoms. But when I looked at the chest X-ray, the emergency physician at the time … we both immediately knew and then at that point, it was just a matter of managing him and obviously confirming the diagnosis,” said Leis.

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